Katrina Rodabaugh on why mending matters

Photo by Karen Pearson for Mending Matters

“No matter how fast-paced our world gets, there’s something about our bodies that want to know where our food came from, that want to understand how our clothes are made, we want to know how to fix our houses. On some primal level, even if we have all the people in place to help us with these things, there’s a connection and nurturing and nourishment that comes from understanding it.”

Katrina Rodabaugh

Hello, and welcome to season 3!

After a longer-than-expected hiatus between last season and this one, it’s a delight to be back in your earholes. We’re so thrilled with this season of the poggie and can’t wait to share it all with you.

And honestly, what a way to kick things off.

Last Christmas, while my parents were visiting us in Canada, my mum taught me how to knit. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time (never quite enough to take action, mind you) but the past 18 months of travel and stripping back our belongings has had an unexpected effect. I now value handmade things far more than I used to.

Where I used to view all things through the lens of minimalism (i.e. Is this a necessity?) I now have a more well-rounded, gentler view of stuff. I certainly won’t be diving head-first in to conspicuous consumption again any time soon, but I also acknowledge that the things we own can have a positive impact on us if we choose to own them mindfully.

I find myself drawn to handmade jewellery where before I didn’t want to own any. I’ve been playing around with making some of my own accessories (scarves and headbands at this stage) but am really hopeful of developing my skills enough to make things like blankets and rugs, crocheted dishcloths and produce bags. There’s a true sense of sustainability that comes from knowing how to create things, and the first episode of Season 3 of the podcast dives deep in to the sustainability of slow fashion.

In this episode I chat with slow fashion expert and advocate, fibre artist, writer and crafter Katrina Rodabaugh, who is so passionate about opening the door wide for all to access slow fashion and who’s enthusiasm for mending has me trying my hand at mending my own beaten-up jeans.

We talk all things slow fashion: why Katrina got started, how her fashion-fast experiment became her lifestyle, the art of mending, creating systems and networks for thrifting and more.

We also talk social media and the importance of ‘showing the cracks’, the trade-offs of going slow, and how to start slowing down your wardrobe.

This conversation is a practical, uplifting, inspiring call to action and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Questions featured in this episode:

  1. What did your fashion fast initially look like?
  2. What surprised or challenged you in that first year?
  3. Was the idea of convenience something you had to overcome?
  4. You also grow and forage dye plants on your property and the colours you create are incredible – is this something new for you?
  5. Do you think there was a stigma attached to mending clothes, and do you think it’s shifting
  6. Where can people get started with slow fashion?


Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!


Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

As always, thank you for listening!

Love Slow? Support the show!

6 Responses to Katrina Rodabaugh on why mending matters

  1. Sashiko mending is so lovely. My husband has brought me home some kits and I am working on learning the skill. As a mom of boys, I’m not sure I’ll convince them to let me use it on the holes in their knees…

    • It’s gorgeous isn’t it Margie? I’m going to start with my own clothes and see if it’s something I can convince my family to get on board with once I know (a little) what I’m doing.

  2. Great episode! I’ve been trying to slow down (and make more sustainable) my fashion for ages – mostly buying from thrift stores, trying to buy natural materials. I even have a huge pile of mending! I just haven’t gotten to it yet, and sashiko mending looks fab – time to learn a new skill methinks.

    • Hopefully this is a good episode to spur us into action Karen! I know I’m feeling much more motivated and empowered (if not actually confident in my abilities HA!) Good luck with the mending. :)

  3. So enjoyed this episode! My mother taught me at a young age how to sew and mend. I find great pleasure and a peacefulness when I’m mending and working with my hands. And bringing life back to something that might have been thrown away!

    • Thank you Elizabeth! Katrina is fantastic isn’t she? And as a new knitter I agree with you that there is so much pleasure and peacefulness in working with our hands.